April, 2017

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Bugs, Birds and Beasts in the East

All of our up to date fun and frolics in the East from office antics to great conservation stories and those magical connections with nature.
  • Go wild and uncover the nature on your doorstep!

    We are calling on families to get outdoors, get creative, get exploring and get wild this Spring. The Wild Challenge is the RSPB's brand new online awards scheme encouraging children, families and schools to go out and get closer to the natural world.

    By completing the 30 fun and engaging activities, families can log their achievements on the website and receive bronze, silver and gold awards! Each activity comes with helpful ideas and resources to help families on their wild adventure.

    The Wild Challenge is free and open to all no matter where you live, the weather or the time of year, there will always be something to do. The RSPB aims to show children how fun exploring nature really is, helping to engage them with the natural world through fun, family-friendly activities.

    Furthermore, every family who is awarded a bronze, silver or gold award during April will be entered into a prize draw to win the Ultimate Wild Challenge explorer kit worth over £500! With everything from a nest box, a wildlife camera trap, binoculars for adults and children, a hogilo hedgehog house, a bat detector and so much more, it's definitely worth entering!

    Some of the fun activities you can try:

    1. Build a minibeast hotel

    Create your own bug hotel full of different natural materials, to provide hidey-holes for creatures galore! The size and construction of your bug hotel is only limited by the materials you have available and your imagination!

    2. Feed the birds!

    Giving birds a little extra food is a simple and fun way to help, especially when natural sources are low. The mix of fat, seeds and mealworms is irresistible for many garden birds, so why not try this sticky activity! Hang them from your garden trees, or on your balcony and watch your neighbourhood birds discover them. 

    3. Record the wild weather

    Rain or shine - can you help us measure the weather? Become a meteorologist and learn how to set up your own weather station - will you be able to detect the changes or predict the weather near you?

    4. Show us the signs of spring near you

    Spring is an exciting time to go out and explore, as you can witness how nature changes in the turnover of seasons. Weather it's daffodils and bluebells making an appearance, a bumblebee looking for a new home or leaves turning the trees green again, take a picture of your local signs of spring! If you're under 19, you can even submit it to this year's WildPix competition.

    And if you would like to incorporate the Wild Challenge into a fun day out, why not come to one of our Wild Challenge events being held regularly across RSPB reserves in the Eastern region. Check out the events listings here.

  • Spring at RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve

    Author: Carrie Carey

    There’s nothing more likely to put a spring in your step than seeing the new blooms of flowers and trees emerging at this time of year. The term ‘spring time’ dates back to the 15th century in celebration of the new year springing out from the old.  With the long awaited passage of winter, springing time was seen as a period of rejuvenation and regrowth.

    Spring is the favoured season for many of us as we look forward to longer days and warmer weather. Gradually, brown and barren areas of garden are transformed into hues of green interspersed with splashes of colour. Fragrant blooms reappear in borders and hedgerows, and daisies materialise overnight on our lawns.

    The arrival of spring heralds a number of changes for the wildlife of Titchwell Marsh nature reserve. Overwintering visitors begin their long flight home to breeding grounds in Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland. Their presence missed only for a moment whilst we await the arrival of sand martins and swallows returning from their winter sojourn in Africa.


    Photo: RSPB Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk, credit: Rahul Thanki

    Out on the reserve, marsh harriers can be seen swooping and falling in a series of twists, rolls and spirals as they perform their ritual sky dance. During the breeding season the male will provide the female with food. Feeding on small mammals and birds the harriers fly low over the marshes searching for prey.  When he has a suitable offering, the male soars high into the air and with the female flying underneath him, drops the prey for her to catch.


    Photo: marsh harriers passing food in mid-air, credit: Ben Hall

    Another avian rarity, the bittern, marks the arrival of spring with his booming call. The bittern is a shy and elusive bird whose plumage perfectly camouflages him against the reed bed habitats. However, he gives his presence away with his unusual and very loud call. These birds, once thought to be extinct in the UK are now breeding successfully in carefully managed conservation reserves such as Titchwell Marsh.


    Photo: bittern blending into the reeds, credit: Ben Andrew

    In woodland areas, courtship of another sort is taking place. Male newts develop a wave like crest along their spine and tail. In the presence of a female, the male shimmies and his tail vibrates. Frogs and toads have woken from their winter sleep and are ready to mate. They will lay their jelly-like spawn on the freshwater pools often in close proximity to the nests of moorhens and coots.


    Photo credit: Eleanor Bentall

    Further out on the reserve oystercatchers and ringed plovers are beginning to nest along the beach. Mallards and teal show off their fine plumage in order to attract a mate and other birds, such as black-tailed godwits, shed winter plumage for their nuptial feathers.


    Photo: oystercatcher stood in water, credit: Chris Gomersall


    Photo: ringed plover, nesting on stony ground, credit: Andy Hay

    For us too, spring provides incentive to get outdoors and shake off those winter cobwebs. It’s time to shed the layers and feel the gentle warmth of the sun’s rays on our skin. With a diversity of habitats to explore at Titchwell reserve there are places a plenty to take a brisk walk or a gentle amble or just take time out of the day to sit and enjoy nature’s playground. Whatever your pleasure, you can’t beat a fine spring day to invigorate the senses and recharge those batteries.

     

     

    Event Listing

    Hare's most egg-cellent adventure

    Monday 3 April to Sunday 16 April

    10 am

    Price: £1 per child (nature trails) £2 per child (egg hunt)

    Fun for all the family over Easter as we follow hare on his travels around the reserve. Self-led nature trails are available throughout the Easter holidays with hands-on activities taking place on the dates below. Our annual egg hunts will take place on Easter Sunday and Monday.

    A list of available RSPB membership packages could be found here.